We Rise Again: Cape Breton Chorale Spotlight

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Cross Canada Virtual Choral Tour Spring 2021

Elmer Iseler Singers’ Artistic Director, Lydia Adams shines the spotlight on Ryan Billington, conductor, Cape Breton Chorale

The Cape Breton Chorale are participants in the Elmer Iseler Singers’ Canadian choral mentorship initiative of hope and optimism, culminating in a virtual performance of ‘We Rise Again’, by Leon Dubinsky – coming this Spring!

Lydia and Ryan talk about the impact of singing music by Cape Breton composer Leon Dubinsky and the song’s relevance today.

“it’s going to be very emotional for [the choir]
and powerful for them … in bringing the message
of that song and its Cape Breton roots
to everybody across the country”

Ryan Billington

Lydia Adams’ Interview with Ryan Billington

Cape Breton Chorale

The internationally-acclaimed Cape Breton Chorale has been thrilling audiences at home in Canada and around the world since its formation in 1973. The 50-plus voice mixed adult group has played an important role in the cultural life of Cape Breton. The Chorale has performed in the Maritimes, Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales. They have shared the stage with musical stars including Celine Dion and Rita MacNeil, and performed before numerous visiting dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II. The Chorale has also made numerous appearances at the renowned Celtic Colours International Festival which takes place all over Cape Breton Island in early October. 

Ryan Billington has been serving as Artistic Director and Conductor for the Cape Breton Chorale since 2017. He is also an Associate Professor in the music department at St. Francis Xavier University where he teaches voice, vocal jazz ensemble, and other courses. In 2011, his student vocal ensemble EXTRA from StFX was featured nationally on CBC Radio 2 Choral Concert with host Peter Togni. Prior to his appointment at StFX, Ryan performed as a professional choral singer in Toronto with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and other choral ensembles. In more recent years, Ryan has performed across Atlantic Canada in jazz, oratorio, musical theatre and choral settings.